The most important action you can take, in order to win at salary negotiation, is doing some research on salary levels for the function, company and industry in question.
By arming yourself with such information you will have a sense of what is fair and know what to expect. This puts you in a very strong position.
Before you go for the interview, here is the research you can do to help with your salary negotiation:
- Have a look at public information on salaries. Information on the function and industry is easier to obtain but often you will find great data for a particular company as well. Typically recruitment firms, job sites and government agencies conduct salary surveys and publish their findings. So all you need to do is search for such publications for your city/country.
- Get in touch with people you know (friends, family, classmates, etc.) who have experience working in the field/company and get the inside scoop from them. These people are a great source of information and you can get detailed insights from them, for specific companies as well (which is priceless). Ask them for all details of the salary levels and also how compensation packages are structured (split between base pay, bonus, allowances and so on).
- To get more company specific information you can also contact people you don’t know, who are not working in the company currently but have worked there in the past. With social networks such as LinkedIn this has become much easier and you will be able to get a handful of people to respond to your request.
During the selection/interview process you can perform salary negotiation better if you:
- Find out enough about the role, including the exact scope of your responsibilities, results that are expected from you, average working hours per week, amount of travel and so on. This will help you assess what you would consider a fair salary, given the benefits you will be providing the company and the amount of time/effort you need to devote.
Taking these actions and doing enough research during the process of salary negotiation, will greatly improve your chances of getting a good compensation package. It will also help to show employer representatives that you do your homework and have a professional mindset.